Monday, October 18, 2010

My take on a Harvest Bisque

We had a celebratory Autumnal Equinox/Full Moon dinner party last month at our house, and for it, I made my very first bisque.

I'd originally planned the flavor combination to be butternut squash, sage, and goat cheese. But a little ways into the soup-making process, I realized that I didn't have enough butternut squash. So I put in some canned tomatoes. Then it was too tomato-y. So I added some pumpkin that I'd been roasting. That brought it back to a squashy sort of yumminess.

For serving, I added some caramelized red onion, crumbled goat cheese, and fresh chopped sage leaves.


I must say, it turned out pretty well. 'Twas quite a dank way to start off the wintry months.

And it felt sooo good to walk out into the front room and see everyone sitting, eating, talking, laughing, etc. Definitely added to the cook's satisfaction. I see more dinner parties in my future. ^_^

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Grand Central Bakery

Second. Pastry Post. In A Row.

Or third, if you count oatmeal cake as a pastry.

Anywho, stepped into a Grand Central Bakery this morning for the second time in my life.

First time was about a month ago, in Pioneer Square, while I was working on the Parfait truck during the Seattle Square Market. I thought I wanted a grilled cheese, then got inside and realized what I really wanted was their "tuna tosti," which is, essentially, a tuna melt. Grand Central tuna salad (which has an interesting more-salty-than-usual tang to it...owing partially to the capers they put in it), plus Beecher's Flagship Cheese, grilled on sourdough. Their bread is SO GOOD. I'd never had a tuna melt on good bread before. Of course, since I've only been eating tuna and mayonnaise for a few months now, I haven't had too many chances to enjoy tuna melts, good bread or no.

The people working behind the counter were fun to talk to while I waited for my sandwich. I told them I was working on the ice cream truck outside, and one of the guys was really excited and promised to come out and get some ice cream on his break. When he came up to the truck about an hour later, he declared (in a very apologetic way) that he didn't have any cash, but he brought things for trade. Apparently, to him, a $4.50 bowl of ice cream is worth 6 HUGE cookies and 3 full free coffee stamp cards. Works for me! (free cookies and coffee for the WIN!)

Which brings me to this morning. Stopped by the Eastlake location to pick up a dozen muffins, and got a latte and a sticky bun for myself. I'm all about culinary exploration right now, and before today I'd never eaten a sticky bun. Never even touched one. Can't remember seeing one in person either. But I'd heard about them...and totally thought they were just some cinnamon roll-type thing involving honey or something instead of icing.

Oh, was I wrong. Sticky buns are sooo much more.

In fact, I was so distracted by the sheer bliss I experienced in the nomming of this pastry that I didn't even get a picture of it before it was more than half-eaten.


Look at that carmelization! The pecans! The yum!

Srsly, though. The top is just chewy, sugary, ohmygod-ness. Plus nuts. Everything else is secondary.

Oh yeah, I was impressed with the latte, too. Manual espresso machine + Caffe Vita coffee = another win for Grand Central Bakery.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Nielsen's Authentic Danish Pastry


Actually, you won't find any of those here. You WILL, however, find quite the selection of delectable, delightful, and scrumptious Danish-style pastries which one could describe with many other synonyms of "yummy". They've got danishes, kringles, snitters...and a bunch of other things that I don't remember the funny names for.

Cookspace, the shared commercial kitchen that Parfait uses, is just a block away, which means that I was lucky enough to have happened upon Nielsen's one day heading to work. It makes me very sad that I've only made it back a handful of times since then.

This morning, though, I was picking up my check at the kitchen and was in serious need of some carbolicious nommage.

More shots of espresso than my body's used to in the morning + no food = Danish pastry deficit.
(Or, at least, that equation was true this morning.)


This one has ham and provolone. And at 8:30am, it was still warm. WIN! ^_^